This electric truck story was first published by CleanTechnica.
By Cynthia Shahan
Startup electric truck maker Chanje Energy has launched an electric Class 5 van, intent to replace last century’s fossil fuels with a zero-emissions Class 5 last-mile delivery option. This is the latest of several recent additions to the electric truck and van market. Chanje V8070 is truly a vehicle without compromise. Separating from the smelly particulate crowd, Chanje is offering the first premium-quality, extended-length, medium-duty electric vehicle in the US.
Delivery vehicles are major polluters — worse than regular cars. Chanje Energy intends to change that and aims to dominate the Class 5 last-mile delivery segment with its extended-length, medium-duty panel van, the Chanje V8070.
Fewer moving parts and no need for oil changes = 70% less maintenance costs, according to the company. Fuel costs? No, not so much — approximately 70% less as well. The approach Chanje took was to create a platform that “allows us to offer maximum payload, maximum cargo capacity, the most efficient powertrain.”
Trucks.com quotes Chanje’s chief executive, Bryan Hansel, “The Chanje V8070 is the best delivery truck ever designed, it just happens to be electric.” The company, headquartered in Los Angeles and backed by China’s FDG Electric Vehicles, made its public debut at the beginning of this month with its plans to offer its purpose-built electric truck with three tons of cargo capacity, 100 miles of range, and a long-term leased battery. The V8070 will launch in September.
Convenience? With electric vehicles, that means overnight charging with an onboard charger! “The V8070’s 7.2 kW onboard charger and standard SAE J1772 connector complement typical commercial van duty cycles,” Chanje writes. “There’s no need to interrupt your route to find a fuel station — just plug in the V8070 at your depot for an overnight charge.”
Trucks.com notes that there are other electric and hybrid-electric delivery vans in the Class 5 and 6 categories, but none are vehicles designed to be electric from the start. “We avoid the inefficiencies and extra costs involved in converting [a gas or diesel truck] to electricity,” said Hansel.
Chanje’s battery-electric cargo van is actually longer than either a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Ford Transit. Competitors are major commercial diesel and gasoline panel van makers. Of course, those push away our clean air as they infiltrate it with particulates, NOx, sulfur dioxide, etc. Bill Van Amburg, senior vice president of CalStart, a Pasadena, California–based clean transportation technologies think tank, also notes that the other all-electric and hybrid electric-internal combustion vans on the market are not in the same weight range as Chanje.
“Most use electric drive systems retrofitted into vehicles originally designed for internal combustion motors, and most are either smaller Class 3 and 4 vans or larger Class 6 step vans from companies such as Zenith Motors, Workhorse Group, and Motiv Power Systems. Mitsubishi Fuso also will bring its medium-duty electric eCanter to the US. With 100 miles of range, it’s based on the Canter Eco Hybrid diesel-electric model that was introduced in 2006 and last updated in 2012.”
Chanji claims the opportunity is bigger than simply replacing fossil fuel vehicles with electric. “Our long-term vision is to create sustainable urban solutions that improve the last mile and positively impact people, businesses, and communities.”
“While the US product launch is still two months away, Hansel said Chanje already has booked orders and that its first vehicles are in production in China and should be in use in the US sometime in the fourth quarter.
“‘We will start by bringing them in as imports, then will switch to assembly in the US in 2018,’ Chen said, who also served as counsel at Tesla Motors and with the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Chen’s Tesla experience will be especially valuable as he helped that company fight to establish the ability to sell direct to consumers in states that had long allowed only dealerships to sell new passenger vehicles. Chanje’s plan calls for direct sales as well. ‘There are no dealerships in our future,’ said Hansel.